Understanding The Objective Metrics Of Headliner Level Stand-up Comedy

Fact Or Fiction?

Many people, including comedians at every level aggressively question how I am able to use objective metrics to determine how funny a comedian is or if they are delivering headliner level stand-up comedy material.

And I actually get accused of “making up” false standards or trying to establish impossible goals for comedians and their stand-up comedy performances, especially since stand-up comedy is such a “subjective” performing art.

I will be the first to admit that appreciation of a comedian’s comedy material on an individual basis is very subjective on an individual-by-individual basis, especially when that determination is made outside the LIVE performing environment.

However — the laughter, cheering or applause a comedian can generate from any particular performance in front of a LIVE audience is not only clearly observable, but objectively measurable and easily quantifiable.

The Standards Were Already Established

I haven’t managed to set or even establish a single “standard” when it comes to delivering headliner level stand-up comedy material or generating the laughter results a headliner comedian can command when standing before a LIVE audience.

Any “standard” that exists when it comes to generating headliner level laughter response from an audience was established when stand-up comedy became a recognized performing art and continues to be maintained by talented headliner comedians today.

The only thing I have managed to do is develop a process using software to measure and quantify on a minute-by-minute basis what headliner comedians have been able to accomplish for decades:

Headline Level Performance Metrics

1. Headline comedians usually generate 4-6+ substantial laughs each performing minute. By doing that…

2. Headline comedians generate a minimum average of 18+ seconds of laughter, cheering or applause for each performing minute (PAR Score 30+).

3. Comedy “star” level comedians seem to generate 24+ seconds of laughter, cheering or applause per minute range (PAR Score 40+).

Note: This increase in PAR Score is directly related to the larger audiences that comedy stars tend to perform for — which results in longer laughter, cheering or applause durations during a performance.

PAR Score: The percentage of each minute of a stand-up comedy performance that demonstrates measurable audience laughter, cheering or applause (Positive Audience Response).

Don’t Take My Word For It

The metrics I have identified above are 100% verifiable.

Simply use Comedy Evaluator Pro to evaluate ANY widely distributed stand-up comedy vinyl LP album, 8 track tape, cassette tape, CD, DVD, MP3 or online video of any established headliner comedian performance commercially produced since 1955.

I have conducted many hundreds of evaluations over the years on audio and video recordings of popular headliner comedians of every possible content type, style, age, or gender.

And I didn’t just conduct CEP evaluations on established and popular comedians that I personally “liked” and appreciated — still, the metrics identified above remain undeniably consistent when it comes to headliner level performances delivered to LIVE audiences, even among the headliner comedians that I personally cannot stand to watch.

One important aspect of stand-up comedy that is hidden in plain site is that there is a HUGE difference between:

A purely subjective determination on an individual basis on whether or not a comedian is “funny” and the measurable frequency of laughter, cheering and applause a comedian can generate from a LIVE audience.

Related Article: Getting Hired As A Comedian: How “Funny” Is Determined In Online Stand-up Comedy Videos

The Last Word

So for the record — I didn’t “establish” any standards when it comes to generating headliner level laughter levels.

Talented stand-up comedians of every possible “flavor” were meeting or exceeding the “standards” that I have only managed to identify, one audience at a time long before I was even born and continue to do that today — whether they use Comedy Evaluator Pro or not.

What I think is very exciting for those who are new to stand-up comedy when it comes to using Comedy Evaluator Pro is this:

Comedians don’t have to hold the “title” of headliner comedian in order to know beyond a shadow of a doubt for them selves that they are developing and delivering headliner level stand-up comedy and generating headliner level laughter, cheering or applause from the LIVE audiences they appeal to with their unique style and sense of humor.

And having objective metrics, along with minute-by-minute analysis of any stand-up comedy performance will tell any comedian what parts of their stand-up comedy act are rock solid and which parts need revision or improvement — which can potentially shave years off the time it takes for a comedian to reach headliner audience reaction levels.

Football wouldn’t be a valid sport without a goal line. Well, when it comes to stand-up comedy…

You now know what the “goal line” is if you ever want to make any significant headway as a stand-up comedian.

The trouble with people is not that they don’t know but that they know so much that ain’t so.  -Josh Billings

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